Iceland’s Gospel TV is Streambox powered to reach millions
ICELAND: From its base in Reykjavik, Iceland, Gospel Channel was the first station in Scandinavia to broadcast Christian content. Now, after 24 years on-air, from studios in Iceland, Norway, and the USA, Gospel Channel can reach 80-percent of Iceland’s population through terrestrial transmitters and cable systems as well as 12 million homes in the UK, Ireland, and Scotland through satellite.
At first, being constrained to a 4Mbps bandwidth, Gospel Channel struggled to establish good connectivity from their studio in Orlando, Florida, USA. Instead of resorting to costly options for improving their IP network bandwidth, Gospel Channel used Streambox to deliver the high quality video they needed at a lower bandwidth using the AvenirMicro mobile encoder and Streambox Cloud Services.
‘Streambox has provided great results on our live broadcasts since the beginning,’ says Gospel Channel founder and president, Erik Erikson, ‘and recent deployments of AvenirMicro and Cloud services have allowed us to simplify our daily operations.’ Streambox’ AvenirMicro video encoder compresses incoming video with a proprietary codec: Advanced Compression Technology – Level 3 (ACTL3) which Streambox describes as being optimised for efficiency, low bandwidth, and high video fidelity. In addition, Streambox employs its proprietary Low Delay MultiPath technology (LDMP) which uses two-way communication between encoder and decoder for data delivery verification while automatically monitoring available IP networks and dynamically adapting paths used to maintain user-defined bandwidth, latency, and resolution over multiple IP networks. The combination of ACTL3 and LDMP in the small AvenirMicro footprint is credited for allowing Gospel Channel a method to deliver its ministries, talks shows, and music programs even where network bandwidth was not optimal.
Gospel Channel uses Streambox Cloud for stream management as well. The Streambox Cloud management capabilities are used for critical coordination of the time differences between Florida, Norway, and Iceland. Gospel Channel also uses point-to-point Cloud Encoder software whenever they need an extra video stream, said to keep their system robust and malleable to changing needs.
Since Gospel Channel uses the NewTek Tricaster they implemented the free Streambox TriCaster add-on to simplify their operations. With the TriCaster add-on, Gospel Channel can stream live HD/SD video at resolutions up to 1080p directly from Streambox encoders into the TriCaster production system. The TriCaster add-on is suited to Gospel Channel’s needs as they stream live multicam productions from Florida, Iceland, and Norway over 3G/4G/WiFi/ethernet networks.
Gospel Channel has been a Streambox customer since 2010, citing value and reliability of Streambox streaming technologies as a reason for their loyalty. Streambox support has assisted the Gospel Channel throughout the entire process: all information and presets were provided, which Gospel Channel said made implementation ‘a plug-and-live solution.’ Gospel Channel has kept up to date with all of Streambox’ developments; they were the first Scandinavian company to deploy AvenirMicro in 2015 and will soon start streaming live to YouTube and Facebook. Streambox’s simple operations and low cost is credited by Gospel Channel for enabling the network’s ability to produce more live content and engage with more viewers, providing a greater return on investment.
Currently, Gospel Channel has no video-on-demand, but this is something that it wants to implement in the near future as well as move to all HD content (which is currently not practical due to satellite restrictions). When that day comes, Gospel Channel feels ready, as when evaluating IP streaming technologies and gear, the network looked for a solution that worked for their present needs and that would be sustainable in the future. For Gospel Channel, Streambox provides that solution.